Monday, January 23, 2012

My review of Dijit as a SecondScreen app

Dijit was designed to work with the Griffin Beacon universal remote receiver to control your home theater, set top box, etc. It actually surprised me as a second screen app. It has a pretty standard registration process (your zip code, video provider, etc). Assuming you have the $50-70 Griffin Beacon, it is then designed to give you some level of control on your first screen (Simple). Full disclosure: I have not yet purchased my Griffin Beacon. I read the reviews on Amazon and the population is pretty much split on its performance. I have the Harmony One remote and it is likened to that (without the app of course). So let's give them the benefit of the doubt for now and give them a medium (no apparent control of the DVR, or I would say high).  More to follow in another blog soon.

But the rest of the app is surprisingly good. When you register your Facebook credentials and click on "social activity", it actually uses YOUR friends to drive a list of shows they have liked as a potential indicator of what you might like. It also uses what you have liked in Dijit or Facebook. It even double checks with you before it posts anything to either Facebook or Twitter.  How courteous (pay attention ConnecTV).

When you dig into the details of a show, it gives you rudimentary levels of information on the cast, the current episode, etc., using links to Wikipedia (which broke several times) for details on the actors. There is a list of YouTube videos that are in theory relevant, but not much else.

The Social component, while making a good use of your Social network to help you Discover new shows, does not do much more than let you check-in, comment, or like something. There is no curated Twitter feed or interactive polls, for example.

They make a half-hearted attempt at giving you a Seamless experience for multiple sources of content. To be fair, they have integrated your live TV and they offer to show your Netflix queue to you, but there is no integration of the two in a single search, for example.

Finally, while I love the fact that they are using my Social network to drive some sense of Discovery, there is not a real Discovery UI (ie help me find a program to watch) and it instead relies on you either searching for a show outright, scrolling through the channel line-up, looking at your Netflix queue, or reviewing "My Shows", which is where you find what your friends have liked the most.


Simple. Based on the feedback I would give it at least a medium and promise to try it out and see if there is hidden DVR control or access. Medium.

Social. Great integration of my exisitng Social network an a good check-in/like feature, but no access to other features like curated Twitter feeds, polls, etc. Medium.

Seamless. Having the Netflix queue is really only 1 step away from needing another app. Low.

Stimulating. Not the best attempt at showing detailed, fan-based content (though better than most check-in services and better than I expected). Low to medium.

Discovery. While not a great UX, I am going to give them a little more credit for the use of my existing Social network rather than asking me to build a new one like many others.  Medium.

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